Archive for legislature

Underground Corrupted Water in 3 Vermont Counties, Protests Commence



Vermont is not as pristine as advertised, and when I heard about the protests and lengthy, seemingly endless lists of contaminated water in their home, business or schools. My high school, in North Clarendon, was included in the listings, as well as ski areas, stores that we've shopped at forever, nearby farms and farm families, plus nearby Mill River Union High School.

We happen to live within 4-7 miles of two of the sites that are spitting and spilling contaminatesfrom deeply buried gas storage. One is the town we border, North Clarendon, where my sister and her family live and the smallish high school I attended there are drowning in serious contaminated ground H2O water trouble.

Now we have a pretty good reputation for running a pristine state (excepting the protest-driven closing of the hideously dangerous closing of the nearby Yankee Nuclear Plant.

Time for another peck of protests to make some noise. This is a spot on display of Industrial Greed (guess these circumstances define it), and what piss poor regulation can achieve over time.

The Cleanup Fund began in 1941, and was quickly neglected with all the men and a few dedicated women shipping across the Pond after World War II got serious. Great decade for the Military Industrial Complex Generals.

Scanning the 42(!) page PDF from the state's Petroleum Clean-up Fund, I was aghast at the number of resolved situations.

And the hundreds of homes, business buildings, schools, restaurants, hospitals, shops and hair salons and gas stations. The link is above, it's a peeper popper.

Image from the Vermont Petroleum Cleanup Fund.

For each site, a number of actual Vermonters exposed to contamination can vary. The actual users for public water supplies can be as low as 25 people per system to as high as many thousands of users. For sites with affected private water supplies, the number of contaminated wells depends on the specific conditions of the site. On average there are approximately three contaminated wells discovered per site, with an average of 3 users per household. However, one of the 161 sites listed above involved contamination to over 80 wells affecting approximately 240 users, and a site discovered in 2002 involves contamination to over 30 wells, including a public water supply, affecting hundreds of users.

Vermont has been trying to walk in the (pale) green footsteps of New Hampshire and New York to ban the additive M-T-B-E from the state's gasoline - for nine years - nine trips around the sun, and even MTBE is an additive to keep gas from leaking. Ironic much?

Surface water impact scan affect both public health and the environment. High concentrations of petroleum in a stream can cause detrimental affects to biota, and lead to an increased exposure to stream users.

Lastly, sites with indoor air impacts can lead to the greatest risk to public health. Petroleum
vapors entering a home can be at levels that are explosive. More often petroleum vapors reach
levels that pose a serious health risk. Of the 141 sites with indoor air impacts, the number of
exposed individuals varied from site to site. An average site involves three homes affected with
approximately three persons per home.

For a state that barely hits 500,00+/- population wise, and about 20% are second homes for Flatlanders.



GOP Maine Representative Hits New Low In Suggesting It's Okay To Rape Women



If you can't beat abortion legislation, rape the women. That's a loose translation of the inflammatory remarks made by Maine state Rep. Lawrence Lockman (R-Amherst). Via Raw Story:

If a woman has (the right to an abortion), why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman?” Lockman said. “At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t (in most cases) result in anyone’s death.”

"Rape doesn't (in most cases) result in anyone's death?" Whoa there, Mr. Representative. Are you kidding? Some things like psychological scarring and permanent physical damage result that can be far worse than death. And suicides by rape victims are statistically significant according to

-Rape has long-term emotional consequences that can lead to suicide.
-It is quite common for rape victims to suffer from depression.
-And untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.
-About 33% of rape victims have suicidal thoughts.
-About 13% of rape victims will attempt suicide.
-Suicide attempts may occur years after the rape.

Reality calling Rep. Lockman. Please come in. It's as if this Neanderthal is saying, if I can't stop you from getting an abortion, then you can't stop me from raping you. If you get pregnant, you have the legal way to get rid of the fetus. So tough noogies.

Rep. Lockman should be under a psychologist's care. He's not safe out on the streets and certainly not safe sitting in the state capital as a voting member of the Maine legislature. He's not just a one issue nutjob, anti-abortion. Here's a bit more about him:

In one of the quotes posted on the blog, Lockman falsely suggested HIV and AIDS could be spread by bed sheets and mosquitos, and he also said the progressive movement helped spread the virus by claiming “the practice of sodomy is a legitimate alternative lifestyle, rather than a perverted and depraved crime against humanity.”

“[Lockman is a] disturbed individual who holds some of the most abhorrent beliefs ever heard from a public official in Maine,” said Ben Grant, the state’s Democratic Party chairman in a statement Tuesday.

More and more these wackadoos are coming to light. And they aren't all made of the same whole cloth. But they seem to all have on thing in common -- they're Republicans. As we saw in Arizona with their recent smokescreen anti-gay law (vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer), the right wing, evangelical fraction is still out there, and still active.

Their old ideas just won't die. Perhaps like the old soldiers of Gen. MacArthur's day, over time they will just fade away.


Not Passing Same Sex Marriage In Hawaii Will Cost $2.17 Billion in Lost Revenue



If the Republicans have their way in Hawaii, nobody's going to get lei'd.

Republicans in Hawaii say they don't care. They're adamant about not passing same sex marriage in their state of Hawaii. And their reason? Don't have one. From KITV-News, throwing away $2.17 Billion should be something they think long and hard about when their state stays solvent on tourism dollars.

According to Yahoo statistics:

Nearly 8 million travelers — 7,998,815, to be exact — visited the islands in 2012. That's an increase of nearly 10 per cent over the previous year. It also breaks the previous record of 7.6 million visitors marked in 2006, before the financial crisis and recession encouraged travelers to stay home.

Travelers spent a record $14.3 billion in Hawaii last year. This is nearly 19 per cent more than they spent in 2011 and it beats the annual spending record of $12.8 billion marked in 2007.

The agency expects continued growth this year, with the visitors expected to exceed 8 million in 2013 and spending forecast to top $14.8 billion.

What's at stake here is a lot of money as well as justice. When Prop 8 was struck down by the Supreme Court earlier this year, the signal had been sent out that laws against same-sex marriage were discriminatory. Evidently the word hasn't gotten out as far as Hawaii yet. Or maybe they just mis-heard the Conch Shell message. At least by those Republicans in the Hawaiian state legislature.

The amazing thing is that the financially strapped state makes a majority of its money in the tourism business. 80% of commerce on the islands is tourism related. Without the millions of guests annually, the state could not exist.

So what would happen if same-sex marriage were to become legal in our 50th State? Most likely a huge bounce in wedding destinations. With those weddings come guests. With the guests, come spending. Huge increased revenue.

As it is, Hawaii is considered a premiere honeymoon destination. Think now if all of those couples were to have their whole wedding parties in the state, holding services there as well. They would need to build more islands just to hold the overflow.

It's time for the republicans, who are the ones trying to stack the legislative committee to rule against this bill coming to the floor to stop and take an assessment of what they're doing. The entire state's economy is predicated on strong tourism. All they have to do is what's right and fair. It's bad enough they discriminate against their own Native Hawaiian people. They must fix that and at the same time, do what's best for all who live and work in Hawaii.


Show your colors. The rainbow of colors. Legalize same sex marriage and reap the rewards.


A GOP God By Any Other Name


ronald reagan

Ronald Reagan is considered a God by the Republicans. They don’t have a more revered man in their history than the Gipper, or perhaps Lincoln – but today he wouldn't pass the Tea Party sniff test.

Ronnie is their man. Hold yourself up to him if you want to be a leader of the GOP. But don’t trust me with this, trust the entire Jackass party.  Take former house foreign relations chairperson, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R- Fl). She’s making the rounds, with multiple visits to that bastion of Republicanocity – Fox TV News.

Ileana ros-lehtinen

She, like so many others, rally the GOP and Tea Party troops with reverential recalling of the glory days of the Gipper and friends.

Not surprisingly, Lawrence O’Donnell raised more than an eyebrow at the congresswoman’s Obama attacks by saying our current president doesn't stack up to the stellar record of our 40th president.

Let’s see, Arms for Hostages. Iran-Contra. Eleven tax raises. Jailing the mentally ill. And now we find out Reagan sold chemical agents to Iraq which allowed them to gas their own people.

It’s just too easy to ask, “What is wrong with these Reaganites?” Well, Larry O lays it out pretty well. Maybe this should be the the GOP’s official party film at their 2016 national convention. Take a look at what Republicans find a hero:

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